Monday, January 30, 2006

Encounter with Temptation

All in all last week was an ideal recovery week. I did exactly what my schedule called for, including two very important yoga sessions. I felt relaxed and well rested going into my final recovery day, which was Sunday. My mil agreed to watch the Bubs Sunday so my husband could join me for a flat 25-30 mile bike ride. I was looking forward to this ride a lot since we can rarely ride together and also because it was going to be a mostly flat course.

So, we show up at my mil's and all was going well until I spot them: two chocolate cakes. That's right, not just one, but two! I had forgotten that my mil had been planning a little belated bday party for the boys and since they are twins, of course they needed two cakes. After starring, and drooling for a bit, I gathered my senses and headed out the door for the ride.

At this point I was feeling rather weak. Could I really resist them? Should I even resist them? I mean after all, maybe it is bad luck for the Bubs if I don't eat some of their cake too. So, I tested the waters by broaching the subject with my husband (aka my conscious but also part-time sugar addict):

Me: So, did you check out those cakes in the kitchen?
Husband: No! There are cakes?
Me: Yep, two of them...
Husband (overly gleeful at this point): woo-hoo and you can't have them! More for me!

::sigh:: Yep, more for everyone else. I was good, I had none.

Perhaps it wouldn't have been so hard to take if the same sweet-toothed husband hadn't smoked me on the one big hill we encountered. Did I mention he's on a two hundred pound mountain bike? Damn those naturally athletic types!

Obligatory Bike Update: Thanks to some advice around here, I am adding the Felt F5C to the mix. It has the 105 components:

Or for a little more a little more I could go with the F4C with ultegra.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Big Dreamers

I have always been a big dreamer. I mean that literally too. Every morning I can recall at least one vivid dream from the previous night and I often entertain family and friends with my silly stories. Well, as part of my New Year's Resolution, I gave up chocolate until my Big Race. Yes, I know dark chocolate has its benefits, and maybe after my weaning period dark chocolate will start to sound good. But I don't typically eat dark chocolate. In fact, I don't really eat just bars of milk chocolate. Oh, no! I eat chocolate cake, with cookie dough ice cream topped with hershey's syrup(to break up the richness of the cake, of course). So, giving up chocolate meant that I was giving up lots of little, and um not so little, treats, and hopefully getting healthier, stronger, etc.

Given my dream history, it comes as know surprise to me that I am now having vivid dreams about delicious treats. I actually wake up hungry and a tad sad that it was just a dream. Every morning since my kids could talk I have asked them about their dreams. It seems that they don't have my ability to recall their dreams because they usually tell me they dreamt about whatever they are currently playing with. However, recently their answers took on a whole new dimension:

Me: So, Bubs, did you guys dream about anything good last night?
Big Bub: Yes, Mommy. Last night I dreamt I was making you chocolate chip M&M cookies. But sorry, you can't eat them until after your triathlon.
Little Bub (Not to be out done): Mommy! Mommy! Wait until you hear about my dream. I made you chocolate cake! You can eat it after May 6th. It will still be good then!

Ahh, I love my support crew!

Btw, check out my counter on the right. I wanted to add a cool little picture of chocolate next to it, but my coding skills weren't allowing for it. If anyone can help, send me an email!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Commitment to Recovery Week

My day began with my YMCA swim group and at first it was going very well. Only one of my lane-mates showed up, which meant I didn't have to hug the lane lines too much, and we all know how dangerous that can be for me. Our warm-up was 100 breast, 100 back, 100 breast, and 100 back. We were then supposed to move on to something else, except the coach declared our backstrokes were so horrible that he just couldn't let us do anything else today. So it became a backstroke day which was fine by me. I have literally done the backstroke on three different occasions, all within the last month, so it was sort of fun to work on something else. Also as it turns out, although my lane mate can almost lap me on a 100 freestyle, I was significantly better on the backstroke. He was even joking I should consider doing the backstroke for my triathlon. (Hmm... At least I hope he was kidding!) However, my good mood vanished when the coach finally moved us on to something else and said we would be doing a 300 free. That in and of itself is okay, except he gave us the buoy (still okay), then paddles (um, not so much) and then the darn parachute! We were supposed to alternate fast and slow 25's. It was so painful! Then to match my sore body, the coach wounded my ego by telling me that despite all his coaching, I "still wasn't digging deep enough" and would "never get anywhere with that stroke." As Wylee once warned me, he was definitely "Ivan the terrible" today. Sigh...

Okay, enough of my swim whine. The good news is that later today I had time to make it back to the gym for a nice weight session and more importantly yoga. That's a big deal for me because I am not the biggest yoga fan. Frankly it goes against my competitive nature. I spend most classes thinking "Hmm, I am breathing better than that person." or more likely "Wow, I want to bend like that." -I know, it's horrible of me and something I pledge to work on. So, as part of my "Commitment to Recovery" week I dragged myself to Yoga and actually had a terrific time. We worked a lot of hip flexors which I really needed. I liked it so much I may even be back for another session later in the week!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Finding Inspiration

After my first three weeks of training for the half-ironman, I was thrilled to discover that the fourth week is a recovery week. I think I am going to love periodization! Just as everything I had read suggested, last week I was starting to feel tired, and perhaps even a little grouchy. So, both my body and mind were telling me that I needed some rest this week. Part of my problem is that with my current schedule my only rest day is Saturday. However, that also happens to be the day my Triathlon Camp meets. Although the camp isn't intense, it definitely isn't true resting either. My plan for this week is to do each sport just twice, with low intensity, and really take Friday off (unless I decide to do light weights that day, but that doesn't really count, right?).

Now to the topic of this post. Sometimes I gain inspiration from my only life, like I am inspired by a new milestone or a previous workout, and sometimes I need to look to other sources. For today's run, I knew I needed a little something extra so I saved most of the Get Your Geek On Podcast for today's run. As expected, it made my forty minute run seem like twenty and really helped inspire me. One of the parts I really liked was when Iron Will was talking about the path she took to get into triathlons.

Her story reminded me of my sister's, and thinking about my sister really helped me finish up my run. You see, my sister is a historic couch potato. Growing up she suffered from asthma, but I honestly don't think she minded not exercising either. She loved her books, which is great, but also really disliked the great outdoors. Most of her sporting experience was cheering for me from the bleachers. I was always the athlete and she was the studious one. Her sedentary lifestyle combined with years of fertility struggles, finally getting pregnant, and a genetic predisposition towards chocolate, left her out of shape and very overweight. So, it has been with a mixture of pride and awe that I have watched her transform herself into a fit and healthy woman over the last 18 months. She has done it all the right way by moderating what she eats and exercising regularly. During that time she has lost around forty pounds, and much to my surprise has become an athlete.

Last March she competed in her first half marathon and since that time has continued to run and pursue more goals. My sister is the kind of person that said she would only run if someone is chasing her and that a marathon is a great event, for someone else to do. So, despite her more recent athleticism, I can't help but be surprised by two things she did this week. The first was when she called to let me know she was running to Rock N Roll San Diego marathon and asked if I could help pace her. (Although it is four weeks after Wildflower, I am crazy and really want to support her, so I am going to try). The second thing was when she ran 9 miles this week at a 9:45 pace. Um, sister, I think You need to pace Me! She was my inspiration for the run and really for the day.

Obligatory Bike Update: I know I am supposed to be looking cheaper, and for a road bike, but I just couldn't help taking the Kuota K Factor for a test ride this weekend. Of course I loved it. I rode is after a thirty mile ride on my "feel every bump in the road" Cannondale, and it was such a huge difference. They only had the black one for me to try, but I am sure you will all agree that the red one below looks even faster. So the problem with this bike is the cost, of course. It doesn't look like I could afford it with the Ultegra groupo and the 105 still is a little much. Is it worth it to get a new bike with 105? Can anybody recommend a beloved carbon fiber bike that is cheaper than this?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Feeling Good

Last night I led the 10 minute pace group for the five mile Nike run. I have been running slower than that lately, but actually felt great on the run and was able to keep the pace with no problem, which is a good thing since I was the leader and all! I got home and my husband was researching my bike options again. He cracks me up that he can spend so much time doing it! I think we are getting closer to a decision that I am really excited about, but I don't want to jinx anything so I will wait to post until we have more details.

This morning I was back to the Y for swim practice. I showed Ivan my bruises and he sort of laughed and reminded everyone to be careful during the paddle exercises since I was "bruised enough for the week." I like that approach much better than babying me (except from mom of course!). Anyway, the hot shot high school swimmer paid me the greatest compliment. After she heard I had children, she said "Do you really have children? I never would have guessed that." Hmm, what sort of attitude do I project? Then she said "You are just in such great shape, that's amazing you have kids." NICE! This is from someone who not only laps me during kicking exercises, but also sees me in a swimsuit and even the shower where there is no hiding anything. So, I am feeling pretty fit and healthy today, despite the fact that I skipped weight lifting yesterday for a pedicure. But in all fairness the toes look darn pretty today!

I plan to get in a 20 mile, nice and easy, bike ride later today. The only thing that has me less than thrilled about the prospect is that it is really windy today. I can even see white caps on the ocean that is a half mile away. (Don't worry, I'm not looking for sympathy from the snow bunnies out there). I have to search and see if I have cycling pants.

Tomorrow is swimming where we are practicing endurance swims, then later in the day I will run about thirty minutes and the treadmill and lift weights.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

On the Bike

It's a little late, but I wanted to post about what a great time I am having getting back on my bike and getting outside. Sunday I wanted to tackle some hills (probably more like rollers compared with WF), so I headed to Palos Verdes. I still get passed by virtually every 'real' cyclist out there, but let's just say that along the beach sections I pretty much smoke the huffys and cruisers. I am starting to get more comfortable on the saddle though and was even figuring out how to eat and drink without being a danger to myself and those around me. I even made it to one section in PV known for its tough hills and I didn't completely collapse. All in all I cycled thirty miles and then came home and ran for thirty minutes. My run was at the track so except for a piece of trash in one lane it was very flat.

On Monday my husband had the day off and my sil agreed to watch the boys, so we went for a bike ride together. It was our first ride together since I was 13 weeks pregnant and my parents took us on a Backroads trip to the Canadian Rockies. So, it had been a very long time. We ended up doing a lot of 'urban cycling' because we were trying to figure out a safe route for him to get to work. We ended up getting in about 18 miles.

Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions on the type of bike I should get. I think I am really leaning towards a road bike, since that does sound like the smart choice. My problem is that I really want Carbon Fiber, but obviously those cost a lot and my budget probably doesn't go that far. I made the mistake of going to a bike shop and testing the Trek Madone 5.2 WSD and I am so in love. I also really, really love the Litespeed Bella (not CF, but heck, I could take Ti too!). In the future I should never, ever test ride something that I clearly cannot afford, it makes it hard for me to look at the others. So, the bike search has kind of stalled until I can return to reality.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Mark of the Novice

I know many people post pictures of their body after a bicycle crash complete with road rash or worse a broken bone. Others might have a similar picture of an injury suffered from a running accident, especially if you are one of those runners, such as myself, who have a tendency to run into poles. Well, I have to guess that I am one of the few to actually get bruises swimming in a pool! Gosh I am such a dork. I am normally a crooked swimmer and know I should train for 2.4 miles for my half-ironman because that is probably the distance I will end up swimming. Well today my crooked swimming was compounded with lack of confidence which left me hugging the lane lines. My right arm hit the lane line every time I went down the length and I ended up with a nice bruise and an even more wounded ego. You should have seen the look on my husband's face when I asked him to take a picture of my arm. He had such a tender mixture of sympathy and amazement that I could actually get a bruise from swim practice. Just when I thought pool swimming was a safe sport...

On the positive side of life, I got in two awesome bike rides this weekend. I will have to do a separate post on them when I am not feeling quite so stupid.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Triathlon Camp

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but I am doing a triathlon camp through my LTS. It is a really cool program and a great deal. We meet every Saturday for 10 weeks and receive individual coaching in all three disciplines. One of the things I really like about the program is that the coaches are sport specific, so I don't have a runner doubling as a swimming coach or anything like that.

Today was our first non-orientation day and we did a mini-tri so the coaches could evaluate us. Needless to say I was very nervous but also excited. We swam in three groups and I placed myself in the middle group. After a short warm-up we swam 150 yards. Although it was incredibly short, I was suprised by how hard it was. As soon as we started, my competitive nature kicked in and I tried to hang with the guys next to me. They ended up finishing 5-8 seconds ahead of me and I was exhausted! I must remember to start my triathlons toward to back of the pack so I don't blow out like that for the real event. I was a little discouraged that I finished so far behind them, but later the coach told me I did really well and really was a 'middle of the packer.' She also gave me some good stroke pointers that I will work on this week, and said I have the body of a swimmer (except for my darn hips) and can probably really improve. Nice!

Next, it was on to the bike portion. To make things easy our bikes were set up on trainers and we just rode for twenty minutes. The coaches came around to help with positioning and encouraged us to keep the cadence up. I think I did a good job on the bike since I was able to stay right with the pack. (Ha, ha)

Our run was one mile on the track and that felt really good. My HR went up very high so I know I couldn't have sustained the pace for long, but I still felt okay through it. Afterwards they gave us pointers on stretching and went over what to expect in the weeks to come. The group seems really good. It is a nice combo of newbies and experienced athletes and triathletes. I think I should really improve during the camp.

Two important feelings I experienced during the mini-tri: 1) Wow, this is so much fun! I am loving it! 2) Hmm, I probably should have signed up for the Olympic Distance at WF...

I know I haven't been great about updating my workouts this week and I will try to improve on that. I think I am going to work on some sort of progress chart for the right hand side of the screen. Hopefully I can get that up soon. I should say that I did workout everyday this week which ended up giving me: 3 swim workouts, 3 runs, 2 bike rides (my long ride is tomorrow), 2 weight lifting sessions and 1 mini-triathlon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bike Dilemma

When I made the decision to start doing triathlons again my husband readily agreed that my current bike would not support all my triathlon goals. The big question has always been not if we would get me a new bike but when. Well my husband, being the ultra-supporter that he is has spent countless hours researching my new bike. I think he is worried that even with the countless hours/miles I will Undoubtedly put in, there is still a good chance I will DNF on the bike course at Wildflower. He wants to give me every advantage possible, which I really appreciate. However, I also feel a little guilty about getting a new bike. Will I look like a dork/idiot/poser being a newbie triathlete on a new fancy bike? Then, if we do get a bike, should we go road or tri? To make things simple, I created a poll which I hope lots vote in. Feel free to leave comments as well!

Which bike option is best?
Keep the bike I own until I prove my mettle at Wildflower
Get a fancy schmancy new tri bike now so I won't DNF at Wildflower
Buy a road bike but fit it for tris since I will be doing lots of hills

Free polls from

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Topsey Turvey Swimming

Yesterday was my swim workout with the YMCA group, and although I still don't like the early morning hour I was ready and excited for it. I met a 'regular' who wasn't there last week and of course she is way better than I am. It sort of sucks to be the slow person in the lane, but hopefully that will just make me better. Anyway, practice was going well until the coach announced we would be doing 200 and every 6th stroke we needed to do a somersault. Okay, I thought, that sounds like fun and at first it was. On my first two somersaults I was like "Whee, I am going upside down! This is a great way to break up swimming!" However, my glee quickly turned into nausea. It was awful. I am clearly not meant for flip turns because I felt so sick for the rest of practice. I managed to finish practice but had to come home and lie down for about twenty minutes until I felt better.

Later I did manage to get into my cycling workout. I did 1 hour of the Spinnervals DVD on my trainer while my support crew drew pictures and told me stories. Today is an easier day for me because I only have one cardio workout. I am doing weights at the Y and this evening I am leading the five mile group at the Nike run.

So, I need a little swim training advice. Right now I am roughly following the Beginner Triathlete training plan except I am doing my swim three workouts with the YMCA group. The swim coach knows I am doing a half-ironman in May and said I will be ready for the swim portion by then. However, so far most of our workouts have been drills and sprints. I think our longest day has been around 2000 yards. Would you add a fourth swim workout with longer sets? Trust the coach that longer sets will be added eventually? Or do the swim group 2 days a week and go on my own one day a week? (For those of you not familiar with the BT workout, I essentially do each sport 3 days a week, with one rest day, so I have 3 double-up days. I also want to lift weights twice a week, but so far have only managed once)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Donald, Mickey and Goofy

I am very proud to report that my parents more than met their goals at Disneyworld this weekend. My mom was nice enough to send me an email with her race report, so here it is:

While your Dad is off doing his Goofy Run I thought I would write a quick update on my experiences yesterday. First however, I will report on how my body is feeling today. I cannot believe how well I am doing. My left foot doesn't hurt at all and only my heel is sore on the right foot. I ended up walking/jogging in my old shoes rather than the new ones. I also decided on the softer insoles rather than the Super Feet. The mix seemed to do the trick.

Race date started at the ungodly hour of 3:00am. Considering I had been here only since Thurday night my body still thought it was 1:00am. I can't remember the last time I was awake at that hour. We dressed and ate our prerace meal. For me it was a luna bar and water. Your dad has his usual coffee plus a cliff bar. We went down stairs at about 3:40 to catch the last bus at 4:00am to the start from our hotel. It turned out we not only caught the last bus but the only buses arrived at our hotel about 4:15. Four busses showed up at the same time and boarded everyone. While standing outside huddled together in the cold your dad told everyone around us we were running it together for our anniversary. It was cute.

Once we were unloaded there was a long walk to the tents where we left the bag with things your dad planned to shed. I, of course, intended to wear everything I owned. I found a sheltered spot right outside the tents where I sat trying to stay warm. It worked pretty well. Your dad being an old pro had us wait until the last possible moment to head to the start.

Your Dad was assigned to Corral C and I to Corral F. He stayed back with me. He asked me if I could run for 2 minutes at a time. I said I would give it a try. So the plan was we ran 2 minutes and walked 3 minutes. We did the run on the five minute mark so it was easy to track. After about 4 miles your Dad told me I had eight minutes in the bank. Remember I had to finish under 3 and a half hours to get my Donald medal. As we entered the Magic Kingdom your Dad and I stopped at all Characters we saw for pictures. I was a little disappointed that we never saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto or Goofy. Oh well when I do Disneyland in September maybe then.

As we neared the end I got tired but your Dad kept telling me we were almost there and I hung in. As we neared the finish he grabbed my hand and we ran in together hand in hand. As our finish time showed we finished together!

Your Dad is out running his marathon now and doing great!. He crossed the 20 mile mark at 3:51 and his projected finish time is 5:02:49. Hopefully he can do it. That would be a great time for him considering what he did yesterday. I know he will get Goofy because he has to finish by 7 hours. He should be able to that if he crawls the last six miles.

My Dad ended up really picking up the pace in the end and he finished in 4:54:30. He was off by his pr by only 56 seconds! I am so amazed and proud of him! If you want to see some great pics of the event you should check out Nancy Toby's Site.

As for myself, I ran 40 minutes with strides today. I never made it to the gym for weights because the boys and I had too much fun playing at the beach. (Sorry about that snow folks!) Tomorrow is a swim and a bike day.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Riding Outside: The Scary Truth

Okay, I have a confession to make... My bike has not been ridden outside since before I was pregnant. Since my bubs just turned four, that's a very long time. After they were born I decided to just concentrate on running so my bike got shoved in a corner. Eventually that corner needed to be used to house toys and the bike was put outside. Please don't hate me for what I am about to reveal: My bike actually has rust stains from neglect. (I hope no one reports me to the SPCB.) When I made the commitment to become a triathlete again the bike was allowed to move back inside and was thoroughly cleaned. But apparently some rust cannot just be wiped away. For the last month or so I have been diligently riding it on my trainer. The only daylight it saw was when I put it on the back of my car to transport it to indoor cycling sessions.

After having staying inside for so long I had sort of built up a phobia of riding outside. Would my bike hold together? Would other riders mock me? After all, I can keep up when we are all attached to trainers, but there would be no hiding on the open road. However, today was our day to head out. I put on my new bike shorts and cycling jersey (thanks to Little Bub and Big Bub for their Christmas thoughtfulness, and the Hubby too of course), and gathered my gear. I also wore my Tour de Tucson cycling jersey in tribute to my parents awesome athleticism this weekend which I will post about soon. After a brief meltdown when I couldn't get my saddle bag attached, my Hubby helped me out and I was ready to go.

Since Wildflower is rumored to have some hills, I thought I should get tough and head to the Palos Verdes hills. On the way there I rode along the beach where it was nice and flat and not too crowded, so I thought I should try my new aero bars. Big mistake! I was completely wobbly and quickly realized my swim technique of bouncing off the walls did not translate well to the great outdoors of cycling. Anyway, the ride turned out awesome and I gained so much confidence. I wasn't nearly as awful on the hills as I would have expected and really didn't feel too awful by the time I came home. In the end I rode 25 miles at a 13mph pace. Clearly I need to get faster, but I think that was an okay start.

When I got home I raced inside, changed my shorts and shoes, grabbed my ipod and went for a 2 mile run. I wanted to write a 'quick 2 mile run,' but frankly my legs felt like mush and I was anything but quick.

I was very tired afterwards but after a shower and some tv time (I watched "Fearless: Karen Smyers), I had enough energy to take the Bubs to the park for the afternoon. All in all a great day!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Master's Swimming

I joined a group at my local YMCA called "Swim Fit" that is essentially a Master's Swimming group. I went to my first two workouts Thursday and Friday and can honestly say parts of me hurt that I didn't even know were used in swimming. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Getting up early has its advantages. When I leave the house at 5:30 a.m. (which is really an unhealthy hour for me), I am slightly depressed that everyone else is sleeping so soundly. However, I have been returning before the boys are even awake and I realize I am in a much better mood post-workout than when I sleep until they wake me up.
  • My legs function on land but not water. One of our drills today was to bend one leg back so it was out of the water and kick with the other while holding a board. (Left leg up on the way down, right leg on the way back) I literally had moments when I wasn't moving. We were supposed to do 200, I got lapped and still only finished 150 because the coach was bored watching me float.
  • The one benefit of kicking with one leg is that I would go crooked. Normally this is a bad thing, but I used my crooked swimming to 'bounce' off the walls and propel myself forward.
  • Although I am the worst in my lane, I am also pleased because I was put with the faster kids. -One of my lane swimmers really is a 'kid' since she is a high school swimmer.

Finally, I am really pleased with my coach, Ivan. He is providing me with lots of feedback and I like that the workouts are hard. Rumor has it he was on the Russian Olympic swim team. I am inclined to believe the rumor because I did a Google search for "Ivan Russian Olympics Swim Team" and there were 180,000 returns. Clearly it must be true!

After my workout today I came home and told my boys that I had already been swimming at the Y. They were dissapointed because they wanted to go there to play. So after breakfast (Cheerios, YUM) we went back to the Y where I did my 30 minute run and lifted weights. Yeah, I feel like a stud. -Oh, and I hurt too.

Good Luck Mom and Dad!

Tomorrow my Mom and Dad will be taking part in the Disneyworld Half Marathon. They are planning to run/walk it and hopefully they will stay together the whole time. I am really proud of both of them for doing this event. My Mom has been suffering from plantar fasciitis lately, and I am impressed she is even making it to the starting line. Also, despite the fact that she was the one who originally got me into marathons, now she is more of a cyclist. I am also really excited for my Dad because he is planning to run the marathon the next day as well, which makes him truly Goofy. The last time he ran the Disneyworld Marathon we ran together and I am just so jealous that I cannot be with him this weekend. I know they are both going to have an awesome time!

Btw, if you need more proof that my Dad is Goofy, consider that he ran NYC in November, the Tucson Half in December, and now this race. Also, he has been telling me that he really misses his grandsons and wants to visit us in March, specifically the weekend of the LA marathon!

My mom is carrying a camera, so myabe I can convince her to send me a race report and some pics that I could post here.

Here is Dad and I when we ran it in 2002. Clearly the wrong person stood next to Goofy. The race marked my return to running almost exactly one year after my boys were born.

Good luck Mom and Dad!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Getting Scared

Tonight I had my Nike run, which went very well. My group only had two people which I actually prefer because I chat more easily with small groups.

Before the run I was chatting with a friend about triathlons. We usually chat about our running races, but I also know he is into triathlons so I was anxious to tell him about me getting back to the sport. To give you some background on this guy, we always call him Badwater Bill because he is crazy enough to actually complete this race:Badwater. This race is truly for the insane, as it is 135 miles through Death Valley in JULY! To train for it, he ran on a treadmill in a sauna. Yep he's nuts, and this is how our conversation went:

Me: Bill, wait until you hear my news! You will be so proud of me because I signed up for a triathlon.
(Badwater Bill gives me high-fives)
B.B.: You're right I am proud of you, which one?
Me: Wildflower
B.B.: Wow, that's crazy. The Olympic or Sprint?
Me: Um, neither... The long course
B.B.: That's an awful course. Good luck... Did you know the bike course not only sucks but the run is really hard too?
Me: Well actually I have only been thinking about the bike course, but thanks for that. I did check out the swim course and it didn't look too bad...

Oh, my, what have I done?

Swimming and Biking Update

Yesterday was supposed to be an early morning swim workout but I was up coughing all night (lingering effect from the flu) so I decided to sleep in. All morning I kept trying to get to the YMCA but was having too much fun playing with my boys. After their nap I tried to rally the troops to head out but they were very much in home-body mode. So we ended up compromising and they said they would be good while I rode my bike on the trainer. I thought this sounded fair. I did 45 minutes of my Spinervals DVD. It is supposed to be a 90 minute video but I wasn't sure either the boys nor I were feeling that "good." Anyway, I highly recommend this video if someone is looking for a good workout. While I was spinning away one of my sons drew a really great picture of my bike. I say really great because he just turned four, but also because I was impressed that you can see the trainer. Check it out!

This morning I headed to the pool and finally got a swim workout in. I am roughly following the schedule fromBeginner Triathlete Week 2. My swim schedule was wu: 6x100, main: 4x400, cd: 2x150 pull. I had the option to only do 3 400's and of course part-way through the warm up I was tired and realized that was what I would have to do. However, somewhere around my second and third 400, I pulled it together and realized I would never finish Wildflower if I always took the short option. So, I hung in there and did the whole workout and was so proud of myself!

I was also excited that I didn't slow down too much. Keep in mind I am not particularly fast to begin...

#1 9:38
#2 9:38
#3 9:49
#4 9:54

Tonight I am running 5 miles. I am a run leader for Nike Club Run LA, so I will be pacing the 10 min/mile group. Normally this is a pretty easy pace for me, especially for this distance, but since I have been sick it could be rough. My group might be running a tad slow tonight!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Training in Rough Weather

As soon as I woke up this morning I realized that my plans for a bike ride outside were out. Rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing hard. So, shortly after breakfast I headed to my basement to ride my bike on the trainer. I rode for one hour, in the small chain ring. Although I normally find rides on the trainer pretty boring, this ride ended up fun because my husband and kids came downstairs and chatted with me. Of course they all had opinions on my riding:

"Mommy, why aren't you pedaling faster?"
"Mommy, do you really need the fan? You won't have a fan in the real triathlon will you?" (Hmm... That was a good point. Maybe I will have to turn off the fan closer to the event for heat acclimation)
and finally, "Yeah seriously honey. I think you should pedal faster. Your cadence is very slow."

After my ride, I headed upstairs with my support crew in tow and we all saw that the rain had stopped. I decided to head out for my forty minute run while the sunshine lasted. So, I spent the whole run congratulating myself on running despite the freezing temperatures and arctic wind. At the end of my run I passed a school and saw my husband, clad in shorts, and kids out flying a kite. I stopped my run a bit early to play with them and realized two things: 1)I really am I wimp because clearly it wasn't so cold, and 2) this is why I live in Southern California.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

In the Spirit of New Year's

After listening to Tri-Geek Kahuna's audio post, I got to thinking about what I should do for a New Year's Resolution. After much pondering I decided that the best thing for my training would be to follow his lead from last year and give up chocolate. I think this will really help me because I consume chocolate in some form almost every single day. It's an addiction really, especially when it comes in ice cream. However, I have not totally lost my mind and know I probably could not give it up for a whole year. -Afterall, I am not sure how I would even celebrate my birthday without chocolate cake and ice cream. Instead, I have convinced myself to stay away from the delicious treat until after Wildflower. Thank goodness my birthday is in November!

Tomorrow it is back to training for me. I have been out sick with the flu for the past week but plan to get in an easy forty minute run and maybe some bike time. It has been raining here in Southern California so I will probably be doing a Spinervals video on my trainer.